Chicago Cubs defend new mascot 'Clark the Cub' to critics

Clark the Cub was unveiled earlier this week. The new mascot immediately drew a lot of criticism from many fans.
January 15, 2014 5:59:27 PM PST
The Chicago Cubs are defending their new mascot, the first in the team's history. Clark the Cub was unveiled earlier this week. It immediately drew a lot of criticism from many fans.

It's still a few months before the Cubs play baseball, but it seems their season is already off to a rocky start, judging by the reception the team's new mascot is getting. Clark made his debut Monday, and in no time was a popular target of criticism on social media.

Some critics tweeted, "It would be nice if they cared more about winning a WS then finding a new mascot," and "Cubs don't need a mascot they need ball players and playoff appearances."

The Cubs stand by their mascot.

"At that point, it just stopped being about the mascot and just more about trying to create attention for either a social media platform or an individual," said Julian Green, Cubs spokesperson.

Marc Silverman, of the Waddle and Silvy show on ESPN Radio, says Clark sparked a heated debate and says the mascot has become a scapegoat for frustrated Cubs fans who long for a championship team.

"I understand when people zero in on the Cubs and say they're terrible on the field, we can't rebuild the ballpark that's falling apart and yet here they are unveiling Clark the Cub," said Silverman.

Clark is the result of more than a year of research done by the Cubs, who held focus groups and took surveys of fans who say there need to be more family-friendly features at the ballpark.

"It's a hundred-year-old ballpark and besides running the bases, there's not much for kids to do here at Wrigley Field," said Green.

The Cubs may have realized their goal of engaging more families. Clark visited the Pediatric Developmental Center at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital on Monday, and was a hit with children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

"For our children, Clark was a big deal and a very positive character and it's going to create opportunities to go to Cubs games for their families," said Dr. Karen Fried, Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital.

Among Clark's duties are making appearances throughout the community. First up is the annual Cubs Convention this weekend, where maybe he'll win over some more fans.